Some kind person in my neighborhood was trimming their hydrangea bushes and instead of just throwing the flowers in the compost they put them out by the curb with a little sigh that said "help yourself". Lovely for those of us with non-existent flower buying budgets.


Summer balcony

Oh dear, I've really let this blog go over the summer! It's been an especially busy summer and flown by!
I wanted to share this photo of my balcony though, I can't believe how lush it is in comparison to how it looked in April!
Some things I forgot to post about:
-Blueberry plant. I got about 5 blueberries!
-Fig tree. I've seen lots of people goring fig trees in containers and I really wanted to try it. My tree was doing great, but it's not looking so good right now. I need to look up what the problem could be (it's loosing leaves, I think it's too early to just be from it being Autumn).
-Lots and lots of mint going crazy
-Green beans. I will post about that soon.



This is by far my best year for tomatoes ever! I made sure to by varieties that are supposed to do well in container this year and it made a huge difference! One was a cherry variety and I must have gotten dozens.
Still growing tomatoes, especially in containers, is a challenge. I got a lot of tomatoes but I could probably have gotten more if my pants hadn't gotten a blight of some kind. Sigh!


Strawberries Pt. 2!


Just look at these strawberries! I'm really proud of them.

It's so exciting to harvest fresh fruit from my container garden for breakfast. And home grown strawberries are always so sweet and delicious. Just look how red they are!

I've been buried under a mountain of work or I would post more, but exciting things are happening in the garden! I've eaten all the carrots, but more are going to be ready soon, and I've been eating a lot of mustard greens which are doing tremendous. Beans are coming along, tomatoes seem to be doing well so far, and flowers are going crazy. I have to remember to photograph more!





I literally squeled when I pulled these out of their pot the other day! Growing root veggies from seed is so exciting, you never know what's going on there until you pull them up and it's like magic! Delicious magic. I've never grown carrots in containers before so I was really excited to try this small, spherical variety. And I'm pleased with the results! I actually have them in a pretty small pot, and I didn't even thin them that much, but they seem to be doing fine. This is especially nice because my radishes ended up not doing so well, they bolted before most of them got bulbs. I'll try them again this fall.
Here is what I did with the little carrots:


I have plenty more in the pot still, and I also have another container going that I started a bit later. Yay root vegetables!



Some new little strawberry plants that I'm excited about. Look at all those blooms!




Tiny radishes! (Haven't harvested these yet)

Ready to each spinach!

 A garden lunch!


Lettuce Progress

The last photos of the lettuce seedlings were actually a few weeks old, they look like this now! Do you know I've never grown lettuce completely from scratch before? I've always bought little seedlings, which seems kind of crazy since it's practically time to harvest them as soon as you buy them, but I'm afraid of failure. I'm still afraid of failure with these. Are they thinned enough? I can't bare to thin them any more!
Some more little seedlings. I'm so surprised and pleased those chives are coming back! I didn't think they would survive the winter in that little pot.
I finally got a nice little table for outside. There is still a little chill in the air that makes it hard to sit out there but soon!



These are some of the seeds I planted a few weeks ago. Everything is coming up! I'm really interested to see how those little round carrots do in containers, and I can't wait for radishes! Is there anything more satisfying than pulling those colorful roots out of the soil?
I'm also especially excited about this speckled lettuce, it's so pretty.
See the little speckles?



A lovely, also plant crazy, friend gave me all these amazing succulents from her garden! It's so nice to have a little touch of the desert around, especially since it's been raining pretty much every single day for the last three weeks! Once summer gets here Portland actually can be very hot, sunny, and dry, so they should do just fine but until the I'm giving them extra love and support in the form of a little UV lamp.

What extra things do you do for your plants to get them though the colder, darker months?


Bits of This and That

I got a book about houseplants at Goodwill the other day. It's nice because it has info and specific care for tons of houseplant species. It also has some examples of "living with plants", most are horrible because I think the book is from the late 70's, but I did really like this room. The tile floor, those wonderful chairs, the market basket, the little orange tree...sigh.

A "spider" fell off my spider plant a few months ago when I was moving and up until recently I was just keeping it in water. I found this sweet vintage pot though and decided it was a good time to move it to soil. I'm sorry to say my spider plants don't much care for my new apartment. They prefer full sun and my place gets no direct sun.


The Victorian Kitchen Garden

I've watched this series about 50 times since I discovered it a few months ago (via. Marjorie. Thank you!). It's just so interesting & pleasant. The head gardener in it is so amazing, I wish I had just a tenth of his depth of knowledge! Another thing I especially love about this show is how they show and use all these very specialized tools and techniques (glass tubes to make cucumbers grow straight, a special tiny saw for harvesting asparagus), it's just fascinating! It makes me want to look for some of these kind of things at antique stores.
(there is also a great related show about cooking The Victorian Kitchen)


Seedling Progress

Ugh, I definitely didn't expect that heavy rain last night to turn into snow! I was a little worried about my newly sprouted seeds, but they are hearty early veggies that don't mind the cold too much and they seem to have come though all right. Just look at these french radishes! I can't wait to harvest these!

bok choy seedlings3
My bok choy seems to be doing alright as well. I moved their container to a spot on my balcony that actually gets direct sun for a little while (when the sun is out anyway). I thinned them a little but I suppose they probably need to be thinned a little more. Some of the seedlings are turning white on the edges, does anyone know why this is? Too much water maybe?


Orchard Bee House

I had to snap a quick picture of this amazing orchard bee house from a book before returning it to the library. I want to build one! I don't really have a great spot for it right now, maybe someday...


Bok Choy Sprouts

You can just about see the little seedlings poking though the soil out on my balcony. I'll take some pictures of their progress as they grow. I don't have great luck growing things from seeds in containers for some reason. Wish me luck!


Green Things: Valentine's Day Edition

A few snaps from a walk around the neighborhood:
It's been rainy again, the ferns love it.
Yard chickens. I live in kind of a fancy neighborhood and I like it that even here you can come upon a flock of chickens roaming the streets fairly often.
I started a ton of paperwhite bulbs. They're going slow because my apartment is North facing, but that's okay, they'll last longer.
I got the most wonderful surprise flowers from my Valentine! I love those red beany things. (someone told me they're called "kangaroo paws", cute!)


Hellebore Visit

This past weekend my friend Sarah & I decided to take a little road trip to Eugine to visit a special hellebore nursery that was having an open day and plant sale. I turned out to be the most perfect spring day, with sunshine and everything! The nursery had wonderful landscaped gardens full of early spring flowers. It was a lovely day!
black diamond
I think hellebores are nice, some people get really crazy about them, but I did end up buying one, it's called "Black Diamond".


Green Drink

The sun has been out, its been warm the past few days & it's been refreshing to say the least, I'm really excited for spring.
I've been starting every morning with a green smoothy: coconut water, mango, celery, spinach, kale, ginger. So good!
Snowdrops: there's something magical about them. They're so beautiful and delicate looking, but they look fine even after being snowed on!